Saturday, December 26, 2015

Not Reindeer, But We'll Take Them Anyway!

We have had a lot of deer in the last few months visiting our feeders at Old House.  Sometimes they are alone, and sometimes there is a group.  We've seen as many as 5 females together, and as many as 2 males together.  The males and females never show up together.  Here are some clips from Dec. 26 - the girls were here about midnight, and the buck came at 7 am.  I'm not positive, but I think this is the smaller of the 2 bucks we've seen.  I think the other one has 6-7 pts.  

Thanks for visiting - come back again soon!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas to Us!

Because it was sunny and in the 50s here on this Christmas Eve, we decided to take a late afternoon walk at our favorite park - Inniswood.  We got a fabulous present when we got to see the first owl that either of us have ever seen in the wild.

There was a man with a very large camera on a tripod focused on something.  As we approached and looked where the camera was pointed, we saw what we thought was a huge owl.  The photographer told us that this one in fact is not that big - his female companion is even bigger.  Turns out they like to follow the creek in that quadrant of the park, and this photographer has been following them for years.  He calls this one Grumpy.

We called this one Beautiful!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night... and happy birdwatching!


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Another Divergence into the Music World

Have you heard of this group?  If you haven't, then you need to get them on your radar.  They are FANTABULOUS!  On Friday night, I attended my 2nd live concert with them.  My first rondezvous with them was about a year ago.  (I can't figure out why I didn't blog about it then!)  Once I saw them, I knew that I HAD to have tickets if they ever came back to Columbus.  The minute I found out they were going to be here again this year, I was on TicketMaster ordering!  

Friday, December 18, 2015 - Palace Theatre - seat T2.  WHOOO HOOO!!!

Ok, let me calm myself here and give some history of the group.  The group was founded in 1996 at Indiana University in Bloomington.  They were popular/famous just locally until about 2006 when a video of one of their most popular songs went viral online.  That led to a contract with Atlantic Records, and then the TV appearances and national tour began, followed by an international tour and even more appearances.  Now, the quantity of their music online is HUGE.  If you search them on YouTube (they have their own channel), you will find just about every version of every song they've ever done.  There are also videos available on their website. They make videos that are separate from their concerts, but they also encourage audience members to record their concerts and post them online, so that is the source of many videos.  

So, here's the thing.  The group sings a cappella - no instruments or sound effects or anything other than what comes out of their mouths into microphones.  10 guys (the individuals have varied somewhat over the years) - made up of 4 tenors, 3 baritones, 2 basses and a vocal percussionist. 

Enough talking from me.  Let's listen to some GREAT Music!  

Here is the 1998 version of The 12 Day of Christmas which is really what started this ball rolling:

Next is the video version of a song I heard for the first time on Friday.  It is a great example of one of the many songs that they have created or arranged for their own performance, and it is also another great example of their use of humor:

Here is one of my faves from last year's concert  (the concert version) - the Broadway Medley:

So far, everything I've shared here has been humorous, but they also do just "straight" amazing singing without the humor.  Here is a song from Friday night that I recorded on my phone - Take Me To Church:

  This is one of my favorites of theirs - All About That Bass

I'm going to leave you with one last upload from my phone.  This intro is done by Seggie Isho - he's my FAVE!  ;)  - you will recognize the song....

Ok - I'm not leaving yet - I've got more photos to share - Here is this year's tour photo:

OK - Now I'm done!  Hope you enjoyed this fun romp with me. 
Go see them!  I promise you won't be disappointed!  

Bye for now!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - Plateaus

Today is Saturday, December 19, 2015.  As of this morning, I was at -25 lbs.  I first saw this weight on Tuesday, Nov. 17.  About 2 weeks later, I was down to -27 (Nov. 28).  The last time I saw -27 was Dec. 4.  Since then, I've been bouncing around between -26 and -24.

I have hit a plateau.  Weight Loss Plateaus are very common.  Everyone who is trying to lose a lot of weight hits them.  It is usually because the metabolism of your body changes as it gets used to the new pattern of reduced calorie eating.  Also, as body mass changes, the amount of calories needed to sustain that body mass changes.

At the Dec. 9 Weight Watchers meeting, we had a sub leader.  Her name is Liz.  She has lost 103 pounds.  She did it in a little over 3 years when she was in her 30s.  She has maintained this weight loss for 27 years.  I talked with her about the dreaded plateau.  She said she went through 3 of them, and the longest was 5 months.  I talked with her as well as my regular leader Janet about ways to break the plateau.  They both recommended changing things up by eating different things, and moving in different ways.

Tonight, out of curiosity, I did some online research into the subject, and I found 2 very good articles.  One is by professional fitness expert Jillian Michaels. It's called, "Break Through Any Weight Loss Plateau" .  She recommends being sure you are eating fewer calories than are being burned and changing up the work out routine.  Beyond that, it could be a hormone imbalance.

The next article I read was by fitness trainer Marc Perry who has his own program online called Built Lean.  His article is called, "Weight Loss Plateau: Tips on How to Break It."  Most of the points he makes are similar to Jillians, he just goes into more detail.  He also mentions something called Calorie Cycling.  This is a concept that I've heard about before, which makes sense to me.  This is the idea that you have a high calorie day periodically in order to keep the body from getting too used to the low calorie routine.  Example: 1 high day, followed by 3 low days - repeat that pattern.  Individuals have to find what works for them.  This is something I've seriously thought about trying.  At one time, I thought about eating whatever I wanted on weekends, and then being very careful and good the other 5 days.  I kind of did that at times, but I wasn't tracking everything I ate, so I'm sure I wasn't very accurate or consistent.

As far as I can tell, Weight Watchers' official recommendation is to stay-the-course and eventually the plateau will break itself.  One thing I thought about was just going off WW for the holidays, and then starting back up in January, to see if that makes a difference.  I certainly don't want to gain though, and that is what scares me about going off of the point tracking.   Of course, I can still track points, but just keep each day to a higher point count unless I see the scale going up.

I have a doc appt next week so I'm going to ask her about it and see what she recommends.  As an interesting side note to all of this, for about a month (mid-Nov to mid-Dec) I was having a strange sensation in my upper left abdomen.  It was a muscle tightness that came and went.  At first I thought it was stress/tension, but it kept happening after I felt the stress I was under should have been lifted.  There was no pattern to it as far as time of day or connection to eating. Each time it happens, it only lasts a minute or 2 at most.   I talked with a friend who has lost about 60 lbs, and he said he had pains when he was losing.  I mentioned this to my doc and she said that gall-stones can result from rapid weight loss (since I lost the first 16 lbs in 5 weeks), and she is having me get an abdominal ultra-sound.  Of couse, as soon as she recommended this, the muscle tightness pretty much stopped happening.  She also did an EKG to rule out heart-related issues.  So far, that looks good, but she's also having me get a stress test, just in case.

I knew when I started this that the road would not be straight, and the weight-loss would not be consistent.  My optimistic objective of -10/month is obviously not very realistic.  WW recommends 1-2 lbs/ week.  I would be happy with losing 8 lbs a month or even 4 right now!  Actually, right now I'll be happy to make it through the holidays without gaining!

Stay tuned.  I'll let you know what the doc says next week.  If any of you have plateau-breaking suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for sticking with me!


Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Odyssey Continues - Milestones

The December 2 WW meeting was interesting.  I took off just about everything I could take off before getting on the scales - including jewelry and glasses, and I weighed EXACTLY the same as I had 2 weeks before, so....  with only WW Leader Janet and one other lady in the room, I whipped off my shirt.  That was enough to get me down by .2 lbs which got me to my official -25 mark in my meeting book.  As of that day, I was -25 at p.m. meeting and -27 at morning home weigh-in.  As of today, I am up a pound in the morning, so -26.

Clearly I am stuck.  I've been in this 2 pound range for weeks now.  I think I need to start moving more.  I am still trying to eat all my daily points.  I think I am going to start walking the building at school.  I will wear my pedometer and see how many steps I can log.  If I can get to 10,000/day, that
"should" help.  We'll see.  Maybe that will help me break this stall.

Stay tuned....